Priority Pass Adds P.F. Chang’s LAX

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Over the past year we’ve seen several airport restaurants and bars in the US join Priority Pass. The concept is that at some airports Priority Pass has a tough time striking a deal with a major lounge due to crowding issues, so when that’s not possible, they instead work with a restaurant.

Priority Pass pays a fixed amount for each guest who enters a lounge, so instead Priority Pass is just paying these restaurants a fixed amount, and then you can spend some dollar amount at that restaurant (typically $28-30). So far in the US, Priority Pass restaurants & bars include the following (it’s amazing how much this list has grown in a short time):

Priority Pass has just added yet another US restaurant location – P.F. Chang’s at Los Angeles International Airport.

As a reminder, the following are some of the most popular credit cards that come with Priority Pass memberships (I’ve also listed the respective guesting privileges):

Card# Of Guests Who Get Free AccessAuthorized User AccessCost To Add Authorized User
The Platinum Card® from American Express2Yes$175 For Up To 3 People, $175 For Each Additional Person Beyond That
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN2Yes$300 Per Person
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card2Yes$75 Per Person

P.F. Chang’s at LAX

It’s interesting to see a chain restaurants added to Priority Pass. P.F. Chang’s LAX is open daily from 11AM until 11PM. I’m sure just about everyone is familiar with PF Chang’s, but here’s how it’s described on the Priority Pass website:

P.F. Chang’s is a contemporary, bistro-style restaurant that offers a unique blend of high quality, authentic Chinese cuisine in a sophisticated setting.

The restaurant is located airside (after security) in Tom Bradley International Terminal, which is the terminal used by many international carriers. Tom Bradley International Terminal is connected airside to T4, T5, T6, and T7, so if you have time you could visit the restaurant when flying out of any of those terminals while only clearing security once.

Priority Pass members will be entitled to $30 worth of food & drinks per person, which is higher than the usual credit of $28 that we see. In order to be eligible you need to have a same day day confirmed boarding pass, though there’s no explicit requirement that it needs to be an outbound boarding pass (so in theory you could visit on arrival). Furthermore, each Priority Pass member is limited to bringing two guests.

The Priority Pass member will be responsible for any overage beyond the $30 credit, and that credit can’t be applied towards gratuity (and personally I think it’s appropriate to tip, as a Priority Pass membership is just a form of payment here).

I didn’t realize TBIT had a P.F. Chang’s, and it looks like that’s probably because it was just added a few months ago. They had quite a grand opening party, it seems:

Bottom line

With this addition, Priority Pass now has three restaurants at LAX, so this is a fantastic addition. The nearby Korean Air Lounge (which is also part of Priority Pass) is really not nice, and almost isn’t worth visiting. So this is a great addition for anyone looking to eat.

And I hate to admit it given how unhealthy the food is, but P.F. Chang’s is sort of my guilty pleasure, and I love their food. So I’d much rather eat that junk food than the junk food served onboard a domestic flight.

I think this might just be my favorite US Priority Pass addition yet.

(Tip of the hat to Frequent Miler)

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Comments

  1. If you have Priority Pass cards from different credit card, can you use them all plus guest?
    Like $30×3 cards + guest for the same amount?

  2. But Lucky, would the restaurant know or care if you came back and used another card? I always wondered about this as I have 5 Priority Pass cards. Before I never really used them but now it’s starting to make sense with more and more additional restaurants.

  3. just to confirm, if you’re holding the Amex Platinum card with 2 guest access:

    cardholder ($30) + guest 1 ($30) + guest 2 ($30)

    is that correct or is it just $30 total?

  4. Good news for LAX. But when using the PP restaurants it pays to quickly look up the tip wage rates for the state you are transiting through. In CA the min tipped wage is 10.50/hour so I don’t feel as obligated to leave the 15-20% that I leave in low tipped wage states. 5-10% max in Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Minnesota, Hawaii, NY, Arizona, Alaska, and Connecticut. In those states tipped employees make at least federal minimum wage. I always tip cash also to make sure that the employers are not skimming employee credit card tips.

  5. I’m not sure how it works in terms of “stackable”, but PF Changs also has a loyalty program which provides a free entree after 2000 points, at 10 pts/$ IIRC.

  6. Tom Bradley needed it, I was flying from there a few weeks ago, and if you don’t have lounge access for an airline, the options for some real food are actually fairly limited in the terminal, so its a bonus to have this.

  7. that was a fast copy…I just made the comment not long ago on an earlier post on Frequent Miler and DoC. I guess that is “good news” spreading like wildfire…

  8. @eds I’d be surprised if you didn’t get chased after by the server at that tipping rate. Wow. I’ve never heard someone tip so low here in California, which is a high cost state. I don’t think most workers at that wage rate can even afford to live anywhere near cities like San Francisco.

  9. KAL lounge is nice if you exclude food considerations. The main issue is that it isn’t open until noon.

    PF Chang may have more food but I won’t eat it.

    My concern is this isn’t sustainable. How much does Priority Pass get from Chase or Amex that they can cover 6 meals per year (3 visits with a guest).

  10. Good for Tom Bradley! Especially for those with no default lounge access from any sort of status, this is a great addition. Now LAX TBIT has great lounges and great improved Priority Pass “lounges”

  11. I agree it isn’t sustainable for these credit cards to pay for all of these visits. Let’s see how long this lasts. Many people don’t use Priority Pass lounges but I’m positive that they will take advantage of the free food option now.

  12. @ThomasD
    @W

    Actually, no, according to the post.

    “Furthermore, each Priority Pass member is limited to bringing just one guest.”

    That means you gets credit for $30 alone and $60 with one or more guests. So you can’t use your two free guests to get a $90 credit.

  13. Let’s see the TBIT PF Changs menu and see how far $30 goes.

    But, I have visited this location and it really is a beautiful restaurant.

  14. Wonderful addition! I just visited TBIT once and loved it, looking forward to enjoy P.F. Chang’s as I love it!.

  15. The virtue signaling about this being junk food and that food being unhealthy gets tiring. We all have our food likes and dislikes. If anyone wants to tell another person what and what not to eat, they can at least offer to pay that person’s bills. Moderation in all things; not all of us can live on a leaf of kale and a glass of water.

  16. eds183 – But that’s using logic. Most people tip because they’ve been told to or want to look good – not because they care. Hence why the low wage Walmart shelf stacker gets nothing.

  17. Eds183- you should tip at least 15 percent regardless of how much the minimum wage is. The wages here in California are low in comparison to the cost of living. Don’t forget that we also have high taxes

  18. Did I read that right – PF Chang’s offers “authentic” Chinese cusine? That’s the most shocking part of this article….

  19. @Eric – When I go to Europe I don’t tip 15%, because servers make a decent hourly wage. I tip based upon service. And in the western EU countries the taxes are higher than CA. The state income tax rate for a person making up to 30K a year in CA is 4%, lower that it is in GA or WI – my home states. The LAX city council just passed an ordinance that raises the airport minimum wage to $17/hour in the next two years. Which is considered living wage. The starting teacher in LA makes $45K/year. A server making $30+K/year + tips in the same city does not flag my outrage meter.

  20. @pez – The minimum wage in the city of SFO is $15 (which includes tipped employees). The starting SF teacher makes ~$54K/year. When the residents of SF decide that the teacher’s hourly rate is worth 2-3X more than a server or retail clerk, I will tip the server more. BTW – get rid of proposition 13 and you would see those income tax rates go down. Everyone thinks that it’s all about old people being taxed out of their homes but the real winners are businesses like Disneyland where the property is only being taxed at 1975 rates.

  21. @Alexander You are right. Definitely not authentic Chinese food. It is a misleading or false statement from Priority Pass.

  22. @earl lee this is why we can’t have nice things. Why do so many A-hole frequent flyers try to take advantage of everything and screw over everyone else? I don’t think Prioity Pass in any way intended for you to have their program through 3 cards and pay for 9 guests. If people start doing that, this awesome restaurant program comes to an end.

  23. I don’t bet much value from the addition of the restaurants to the PP portfolo. With few exceptions, these restaurants’ food is not worth eating even for free. And, unlike a lounge, the restaurants are a poor place to work or even relax, given the crowding, noise and tvs. I understand the near impossibility of adding lounges to the PP network in the US and I also appreciate the effort by PP to provide value, but this is not worth getting excited over. PF Chang, really? Why not just eat a few tablespoons of salt and sugar and your choice of fat? Have you been to the Tap Room at DCA? I will say that the SFO restaurants are worth the trip, but there is a strange correlation with the availability of lounges and the quality of PP restaurants. Those airports with decent PP restaurants also have a variety of lounge choices. Those airports with bad PP restaurants have little or no lounge option.

  24. The food shaming needs to stop, people have different tastes, get over it.

    As someone based out of MIA, the three priority pass restaurant options there are mediocre at best. I’d gladly take PF Chang’s despite its “shortfalls” over the Corona Beach House or Margaritaville Bar.

  25. I’m flying AA into LAX T5 this Wednesday.
    If I check in a bag, what happens to it when I don’t collect it at the carousel because I’m too busy eating lunch at P.F. Chang’s?

  26. @Ever. PP usually requires a Boarding Pass on a departing flight, not arriving. And Tom Bradley International Terminal is NOT connected to T5 anyway.

  27. @Tracy @Ever

    T5 is connected to TBIT through T4, yes it’s a lot of walking in the tunnel and then upstairs to gate 41 for the connector but it can be done in about 15 min.

    Your bag will be pulled off the carousel and held by AA personnel. I’ve had several occasions at LAX where I didn’t have 30-45 min to wait for the bag so I just left the terminal and came back that evening. Make sure nothing of value is in your bag since someone else could easily grab it.

  28. I hate to wade into the tipping argument, but I will. I agree that teachers are underpaid, but that doesn’t change the fact that the $15 min wage in SF is ~30K/yr if someone is getting full time hours. The poverty level in SF is $100,000. Yes, that is correct, $100,000/year. So, a server making minimum wage will be at 30% of the poverty level before tips. If you’d like to be able to have servers so you can eat at restaurants in high cost locations like SF, LA and DC, tip generously. Restaurants in the bay area have trouble staffing enough employees to stay open because they can’t pay their bills and attract employees to work there at the rates they can pay. So, while you’re annoyed at tipping on top of your $30 lunch keep in mind that the alternative is no restaurants.

    I live in the bay area and a few years ago my wife hired a teacher with a salary of $85K/year. When she applied for a lease the landlord told her that she was eligible for a low income subsidy for her apartment… because, say it with me folks, the poverty level is $100,000/year. It’s freaking expensive here. Be kind to those who serve you.

  29. @Tracy, you can get from TBIT to T5 airside as @Lucky noted. I’ve done it. He also noted that not all PP restaurants require an outbound boarding pass. Most don’t.

    @Ever, AA *should* take it to baggage services and lock it up. When you produce your bag check they’ll give it to you. As long as you trust them to secure it you can have all the lunch or dinner you want. But, you have to trust AA baggage services.

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